Feeling so lonely that it's overwhelming

My hubby passed away just a couple of weeks ago and though I’ve been trying to keep myself busy, the last few days have been really bad emotionally. Apart from two nights I’ve spent each night on my own and the hours seem endless. I only have one grown up son who has a partner and our baby granddaughter, so has his own responsibilities. Most family live quite a distance away too so apart from a couple of friends, I’ve got no one close to me really, no one who could stay with me. I always used to say, half jokingly to my hubby, that I would have a lonely future ahead of me if ever he left me! I’ve just tried to eat a meal but keep breaking down, I just don’t know how I will go on

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Hi nannym
I am so sorry for your loss I too lost my husband suddenly 4 weeks ago and like you don’t find it easy to cope after all is said and done people go back to their lives and we feel so alone without the love of your life but be assured we are here for you when you need to talk there are lots of organisations out there who can help if you need to talk I would urge you to call them they along with this site have been a great support to me I’m so sorry I can’t say anything to make it better you take care sending you hugs x

Hi Liz, thank you for your kind words and I too am so sorry to hear of your own loss. No one will ever fully understand until they have been there too, and as you say everyone goes back to their own lives. You mentioned a couple of organisations that helped you, is it ok to ask who they are? X x

I lost my husband two weeks ago today. He was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer (he had never smoked in his life) in early March and life has been hell since then. I thought I would be prepared for his death, as we’d had 5 months to “get used to the idea” but the reality has been appalling. Not only nothing like what I’d been expecting, but also in that it has been getting progressively worse each day as I gradually realise all the implications. He was the foundation of my life and I cannot imagine how I will learn to live without him. The loneliness is bad now, but I am going mad with the idea of not having him here with me. I have two boys, 16 and 19. They are coping by spending time with their friends. The 16-year old is back to school next week and the 19-year old is off to University at the end of the month. In only a few weeks I am going to be spending most of my time alone - this is empty-nest syndrome with the evil twist of having lost the love of my life at the same time…so no-one to be with when the children are not here.
Sorry not to be more coherent but I do need contact with people who understand what all this feels like…friends are good but none of mine have been bereaved in this way and they are all busy with their own lives (children, pets, houses). I need to find people who understand!

I should add that yes I do have a job, but am not working at the moment. I’m an academic and thinking rationally has been all but impossible since March. One of my two employers is being very sensible and helpful and is just going to give me all the compassionate leave I need, but I am not sure about the other one…I think I am the first person in my university department to have lost a spouse and they probably have no idea what to do. The irony is that working and doing research are things I enjoy and if only I could get back to it I would feel better…but there’s no way I can even imagine getting back to work right now. I am pretty much incapacitated physically and emotionally.

I totally understand how you are feeling at the moment, my hubby had bowel cancer which he fought like a warrior for three and a half years. Even though we always knew the day would come, nothing prepares for you for this. I am completely devastated, and don’t know how to go on. My hubby was such a good kind man and its so un fair. I had to take unpaid leave from work a few months ago, as I wasn’t coping with the stress, but I can’t honestly see myself ever going back.

I have been incapable of working since March and haven’t spent a full day at work since we had the initial GP appointment that showed the shadow on his chest x-ray. At first, shortly after his diagnosis, I could find a bit of headspace each day to read over at home what my students were sending me, but towards the end (the last month) it was impossible even to answer emails…my brain actually feels as though I have fried every circuit: I can’t concentrate or remember anything or think in a straight line - for an academic that is pretty debilitating, as my entire job centres about being able to think. But I MUST go back to work as science is one of the things that makes me happy (though the most important thing that made me happy was my lovely lovely husband…), so I have to go back in order to have any meaning back in my life again. But at the moment I have absolutely no idea how I am going to manage it. Part of the joy I took in my job was being able to talk about my day to my husband, and he was so helpful in helping me cope with difficult colleagues. I just don’t know how it is going to be possible without him at my back the whole time, supporting me and letting me know every day how much he loved me.
Completely devastated just about sums it up. I feel like half of me has been wrenched away and destroyed and I have no idea how to exist without him. The reality of him not being here is nothing like I’d expected: way more painful and unbearable. I realise now that all the tears and misery I’d had after his terminal diagnosis in March were driven by anxiety and fear, and the tears now are completely different…pure eviserating wretched misery at his loss. Before, I could go into the garden and have a good cry at the awfulness of knowing he was dying but then come back into the house and kiss him and make him comfortable and have a chat. Now he’s not here anymore and the feeling of being alone is just unbearable.

I used to do my crying in the shower, then like yourself I would go and give him a kiss, ask if he needed a drink, sort his meds etc. I must have drove him mad sometimes because i constantly asked him if he was OK. I’ve had some visitors but am spending most nights alone which is very hard, there’s also an inner loneliness too which really hurts especially when I think about the future. There are a million things running around my head, like our last conversation, our last hug and his last breath. He always used to say to me that he would stay as long as he could, but I wanted him here forever.

Oh god this is me. This is exactly me. Sorting his meds used to drive me crazy with anxiety, in case I forgot something. The stress of looking after him made me so insanely tired and yet I could never get away and never wanted to get away.
I’ve had loads of visitors (I am lucky) but each one can only give a small amount of what’s needed, as none has lost a partner. I am still grateful, as I take everything I can get, but it is amazing finding this forum and people who are going through the same awfulness.
My husband was killed by the mets in his brain and he was getting more and more confused. His last full day was terrible as he was confused and really anxious. The awful thing is that I didn’t recognise how close ot the end he was, and accepted overnight help from the Hospice At Home people, so I missed his death by a few seconds (he died as I ran into the room after the nurse came to get me). In the first few days I thought it was good that he’d died as he wouldn’t have wanted another day like that last terrible day, but now I want him back so much…
It so wasn’t supposed to be like this - my husband and I were supposed to have lots of quiet time to look forward to once the children had gone to university, to concentrate on each other and be happy together. How can I do the empty-nest thing AND cope with losing the love of my life???

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I too wish I had known just how little time we had left, I really think that my lovely hubby had an idea that we were running out of time, but he didn’t let on to me but looking back there were certain things he said that now make sense. He had spent three weeks in respite at the local hospice and had been doing so well, was even due to continue his chemo . He came home for just four nights, and then died with me in our bedroom on the Tuesday morning. I had no idea I would lose him so suddenly, he’d had a rough night on the Monday but nothing much different to the odd previous occasion. I wish i could offer you some reassurance or advice for coping alone, but i can offer the hand of friendship.

I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have your kind messages and to know you are out there.
My husband, I think, knew he was going, even though he was horribly confused and his brain wasn’t working properly. The hospice nurse said he had been talking about dogs during that last night…we have only cats, so she thought it was all nonsense and him away with the fairies. But we had discussed me getting a dog when he was gone, for company, and I think he was trying to say something important. I was devastated in the first week that I wasn’t there for him for the last 5 hours of his life, but maybe, just maybe, he died then BECAUSE I wasn’t there and he wanted to spare me.
I can’t help thinking that I should have known it was going to be his last night…I knew him better than anyone, after all…but then again I think, objectively, that there couldn’t have been any set of circumstances that would have made his death less traumatic.

The sad thing for us both is that we can’t change anything, no one can turn back the clock, but if we could there would be so many things that we would change during those last few hours. I’ve been breaking my heart tonight because I feel so lonely, i knew this would happen one day, i used to say to hubby don’t you dare leave me because I will have a long lonely future ahead of me! I’m scared too because I feel that I’m of no use to anyone anymore. I wish I had someone here with me but I’ve only got our dog and kitten for company.
It certainly sounds like your husband was telling the nurse that you should get a dog, especially with you having had a conversation about it. I’m here if ever you want to chat, doesn’t matter when it is or what it’s about. I also use another social network if you ever go on there too.

Hello Nannym
I know where you are coming from with nights seeming endless. I am not looking forward to when the clocks change as it will be very lonely.
I lost my Husband to Suicide on 8th July after thinking he was starting to improve with his depression.
I was the person who found him and I cant get that imagine out of my mind.
We would have been celebrating our Golden Anniversary in October and that will be difficult to get through.
I hope by talking to people on here will help when I have dark days.
Hugs Christine xx

Lonely nights are awful. I have a loyal cat who sleeps on my bed and I used to love that when Stephen was here with me and we’d joke about him, and somehow having only the cat there now makes things just that bit worse.
Mornings are the worst…at least my youngest has now started back at school and I MUST be up for him in the mornings and having him there stops me automatically starting to cry…I have to wait until he’s left the house before the crying starts.

So sorry to hear about your loss, Christine. It’s the memories of the final moments that haunt me too…I will never forget seeing my husband and realising I had missed his death by seconds, because it took everyone by surprise. I had to close his eyes.

Christine. Whatever I say now will be words and they are of little use at the moment.
Memories, images stay with us for a long time. We will never forget but we can begin to cope if only very slowly at first.
I agree about the dark nights, and to me they don’t help the darkness within. But after 10 months I’m still coping.
Your circumstances are different from most of us. I can only begin to imagine the pain.
Dark days may well come and I am sure you will find help and understanding here.
Loneliness is one big problem, I know because for the first time in my life I am on my own.
Please try and look after yourself. We tend to neglect ourselves when this awful thing happens. There may be others on the forum who have been in similar circumstances to you and can help more than I can.
Take care. Sending you a hug and Blessings.

Christine I am so very sorry to hear of your loss and the circumstances. I can’t even begin to imagine how you felt and still feel. Please know that you can message me any time if you need to reach out, I will be here. Xx

Oh how I can relate to you all. My husband died almost two months ago after suffering for three years with lung problems and other issues. He had gone through so many medical procedures and was told there was nothing else to be done - he could tick over for a while longer with medication but chose not to. At the time all I wanted was for him not to suffer any longer, but now he has gone I just want him back for a while to say all the things I thought I would have time for but in the end did not. He went into the local hospice for symptom control but never came home. The night he died I spoke to a nurse who said he was very poorly but had a week or two yet. I went home to get some sleep and got the call at 3am that he had gone - sadly no one was with him. I have since been told that it is common for terminally ill patients to “choose” to go like this so no one sees them in their final moments. I just exist from one day to the next - outwardly ok to friends and family but breaking my heart inside. It seems to get worse not better - no one can understand the pain until they have gone through it. The thing I find really hard to cope with is that almost immediately I felt the need to get rid of all the items that reminded me of his suffering - the sofa he spent months just sitting and watching TV - his clothes he wore to hospital, right down to deleting all the sports channels on Sky. I can’t bear to listen to the Match of the Day theme tune as it was a constant every Saturday night. Everyone else seems to want to hold on to their memories - it makes me feel so guilty but I just want the good ones. Sorry to prattle on. Thinking of you all.

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Rossidan, we certainly seem to have travelled on a very similar journey. I was only explaining to someone yesterday that I felt an instant need to remove certain things like the stair lift, walking frame and oxygen equipment , his meds have been bagged up and the wheelchair put in the garage. It all reminded me of how bad the illness had become in the last couple of months. I’ve kept pretty much everything else though and admit his pillow is still next to me along side his bathrobe. My hubby also went into the hospice for symptom control and was in for three weeks. He came home on the Friday night and we spent the Sunday at our grand daughter’s first birthday party. He had a poorly night , followed by a lazy Monday in bed. We chatted and had some laughs that same evening but he became ill with his breathing during the early hours. There was no indication at all that I was going to lose him but he died Tuesday morning with me by his side.

Dear Rossidan - I lost my husband to lung cancer three weeks ago today. We had 5 months from the terminal diagnosis. I also find every day is a bit worse than the last, mainly because I am still remembering things about our life together and haven’t yet got the full picture in my head of what I’ve lost. I got rid of all the medical stuff as soon as I could (we had to wait 4 days for the hospital bed to be taken from the living room), and kept the condolence cards in an unread pile on the table. But the day before yesterday I decided to pack them away out of sight, along with other things that were too painful a reminder. So they are in the house but I won’t deal with them until I feel ready. I haven’t touched his clothes. I can’t bear to throw anything away just yet. I hve two sons who aren’t yet fully grown and they might like some of them one day (my older son already stole one of his shirts a couple of months before he died…I think he wanted to keep him close) and I often used to wear his sweaters and he loved to see me wear them…so I will continue to do that if I can bear to later on.
lots of love
Marian

Hi Marian,
I think I had a knee-jerk reaction to delete all the bad memories - everyone was telling me to take things slowly but I felt I knew best. I kept a couple of Steve’s shirts and his Christmas jumper, but now I do wish I had waited for a while until the rawness had subsided (if it ever does) . I have a farewell drawer which contains all the cards, printed tributes from my sons who read at the farewell service and a few dried flowers from his floral tribute, which I hope will give me some comfort in the future. My sons are both in their 20s now and have moved away from home - many miles away. One or other of them phones every day and I always try to sound as though I am coping to them, but all I want to do is cry. We bought our present home when Steve became ill because it was more accessible for him as he became less mobile. Although he said he loved it, it holds no happy memories for me - I am tempted to sell up but, this time, I am trying to be sensible and not rush into it yet. Two months down the line I am finding that the friends who phoned almost every day are not getting in touch so often, understandably as they have their lives to get on with too, but I am not getting asked out to social events either - I suspect because they may feel I or they would not know what to say. After 30 years of togetherness I feel I am living in isolation and it hurts. I do hope you manage to cope a bit better than I have - having younger children at home going through the pain must be awful but at least you have to try to lead some semblance of normal life for them. We shall both move on in our grief together. Love Ros x

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